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Take a look below at the #AVF2019 program!

AVF 2019 – A Year for Reinvention Stories…

DAY 1: Wednesday, June 26, 2019 @ Volta

Concurrent Sessions: 10:00am – 12:00pm & 13:30 – 15:30

08:15 - 09:00

Registration Check-in @ Volta in the Maritime Centre

Networking Breakfast – Coffee & Pastries

09:00 - 09:15

Welcome Introductions & Opening Remarks

09:15 - 10:00

Opening Keynote Speaker: Adam Nanjee | The Future of Scaling Startups: Partnerships, Cloud & Capital

Listen in as Adam shares from his plethora of industry related knowledge on the future of successfully scaling a startup through the use of partnerships, the cloud, and capital – only at #AVF2019!

Adam Nanjee

Managing Director, Canada

As an ambassador for Canada’s startup, technology and innovation communities, Adam Nanjee built Canada’s first FinTech startup and innovation national group at MaRS Discovery District, one of North America’s largest innovation hubs based in Toronto, Canada. Having worked in the startup and corporate innovation ecosystems for over 15 years at MaRS, MasterCard, BlackBerry, Zafin and presently at Microsoft, Adam combines his unique experience in scaling startups, venture capital, corporate technology integration and global technology partnerships. Adam is currently the Managing Director of Canada for Microsoft for Startups, working closely with Canadian entrepreneurs, founders, innovation hubs, and accelerators to scale Canadian startups using Microsoft platforms

10:00 - 10:45

Presentation | Will It Fly?

“How to know if your idea has wings”

Craig Elias

Award-Winning Startup Advisor, Entrepreneur, Educator & Author

Award-winning entrepreneur, educator, author and highly sought-after startup advisor –Craig Elias, is coming to Halifax for the reinvented AVF2019 to host the Entrepreneur Sessions! Craig has been chosen twice by LinkedIn as Canada’s #1 B2B Sales Expert (#15 globally for 2019), and is LinkedIn user 3,956 of 700 million users. 

To say that Craig knows his way around the entrepreneurial ecosystem would be an understatement…

  • As an entrepreneur, Craig’s first business went from initial launch to being funded by a Tier 1 US-based Venture Capitalist in less than 12 months.
  • As a mentor, he has been a National Growth Advisor for Goldman Sachs’ and Babson College’s 10,000 Small Business Program in Boston, is on the advisory board for Nudge.ai in Toronto, is a mentor for the GrowthX Academy in San Francisco, and is on the advisory board for SXSW’s International pitch competition – an event held in Austin, Texas, that had over 800 submissions this year.

 In his current role, he helps post-secondary students become first-time entrepreneurs, while also running student pitch competitionsand the Innovation Rodeo – a five-day innovation and entrepreneurship event held during the Calgary Stampede.

10:45 - 11:15

Presentations: Getting Funded

Part 1: Early Stage Funding

Sergio Escobar

Super Angel Investor & Limited Partner

Andrew Ray

VP of Investment

11:15 - 11:40

Presentations: Getting Funded

Part 2: Tax Credits & Government Incentives Throughout the Business Life-Cycle

James Christianson

Senior Manager, Business Tax Incentives

Nassim Bennacer

Senior Manager, Private Client Services

11:40 - 12:35

Full Delegate Networking Lunch

12:35 - 13:15

Lunch Keynote | Fireside Chat

Jeremy Rawitz

VP of Accelerator Sales, North America

13:15 - 14:15

Entrepreneur Session | The Art of the Deal

Part 1: Nailing Your Pitch

Craig Elias

Award-Winning Startup Advisor, Entrepreneur, Educator & Author

13:15 - 14:15

Entrepreneur Session | The Art of the Deal

Part 2: Realistic Deal Structuring

Luke Krueger


14:15 - 15:15

Panel Conversation | Building Your Dream Team

Access to Talent, Retention Strategy, & Best Practices for hiring (and firing…) at your Tech Company. Join us for a discussion on the looming talent shortage (how to prepare), Building inclusive teams, Canada vs. the world / Atlantic Canada talent climate, and Talent as a startup’s #1 asset.

Marianne Bulger

Head of People & Platform

Thomas Rankin

CEO & Co-Founder

Kim Saunders

Vice President, Human Resources

Amy Pollard

Analyst, Strategic Investments

15:15 - 15:45

Presentation | Top 10 Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make

Craig Elias

Award-Winning Startup Advisor, Entrepreneur, Educator & Author

15:45 - 16:00

Delegates Moves to the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel Sable Ballroom

16:00 - 16:45

Keynote Conversation | Scaling Your Company: Got Money...Now What?

Hear from local entrepreneurs that have raised capital and learn more about what a growing company looks like in the days after their funding is secured… Get the inside scoop from these growing Atlantic Canadian tech companies, as they break down their respective journeys toward raising capital, and what the growing pains look like once it is secured. Listen in to get a glimpse into what lies ahead after the cash is in hand…

Tony Van Bommel


Senior Managing Partner

Kyle Gillis

Director of Finance

Bob Abraham

Co-Founder & Chief Medical Officer

Jennifer Wagner

Executive VP of Corporate Development

16:45 - 19:00

The Official AVF Welcoming Reception at the Marriott Stones Throw Patio

This year, all #AVF2019 delegates are invited to join us for post day one cocktails and canapés! Make the most of your conference experience, grab a drink, and let the networking begin.

Enjoy the open air patio, scenic harbourfront views, and premium networking with who’s-who of the innovation, capital, and technology industries. The reception is open to all registered #AVF2019 delegates and we look forward to seeing you all there!

DAY 2: Thursday, June 27, 2019 @ Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel

Join us at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel for the second day of #AVF2019 – featuring all of the sessions you know and love with an all new reinvented format!

07:00 - 07:55

Day 2 Registration & Full Networking Breakfast | Exhibition Display Setup

07:55 - 08:10

MC Kick-off from Nicole Leblanc, Sidewalk Labs
ACOA Welcome Message & Opening Remarks

08:10 - 09:00

Panel Session | Access-to-Capital Battle

Take your seats and get ready for a capital showdown. Top investors from outside the Atlantic Canadian region want you to know why their firm is the best option for your venture. Watch as they pitch their respective firms in three minutes or less and vie for the attention of the regions top performing tech companies. What really differentiates these funds, and which one has the right mix of experience, tenacity, and capital to match your company as you scale-up?

Nicola Urbani


Randy Thompson

Managing Partner

Benoit Forcier

Director, Cleantech Practice

Irfhan Rawji

Venture Partner

Johanne Sevigny

Managing Partner & VP Enterprise

09:00 - 09:45

Keynote Speaker: Paul de Gelder | Embracing the Power of Change

Don’t miss the ultimate story of reinvention, as Paul shares his life-altering experience, at #AVF2019. Find out how he inspires others to Embrace The Power Of Change and face every challenge head-on.

Paul de Gelder

In February of 2009, a brutal shark-attack in the Sydney Harbour left Paul without two of his limbs and clinging to life. With his daredevil career at stake, Paul took this traumatic experience and turned it into his greatest opportunity to leave a positive impact. Nine years later, Paul has now traveled the world as a top motivational speaker, passionate environmentalist, author of the book, No Time for Fear, and co-host of nine documentaries for Discovery Channel’s Shark Week and one for National Geographic!

09:45 - 10:30

Networking Break

10:30 - 11:10

Technology Showcase | Break Out Sessions

Top companies take the AVF 2019 stage to represent the Atlantic Canadian Technology Market across various sectors. Each company has five minutes to demonstrate their business opportunity, and provide compelling reasons why the Investors, corporate leaders, and innovation economy stewards should take a closer look!

Breakout A: IT/ICT Company Presentations – Nova Scotia Ballroom A

Breakout B: Sustainable Tech Company Presentations – Halifax Ballroom A

11:10 - 11:15

Delegates Move to Nova Scotia Ballroom

11:15 - 12:00

Keynote Speaker: April Dunford | Positioning for Startups - How to Make Your Product Obviously Awesome

April is going to draw on her own experiences and teach you how to recognize the common signs of weak positioning and what to do about it. Don’t miss out on a chance to learn from an expert who knows how to leverage market trends and unlock rapid revenue growth through a strategic shift in positioning!

April Dunford

Author, Speaker, Expert in Positioning & Marketing

April Dunford is an executive consultant, speaker, and author, who helps technology companies make complicated products easy for customers to understand and love. She is a globally recognized expert in positioning and market strategy and has launched 16 products to market in her 25-year career as VP Marketing at a series of successful high-growth startups. April advises leadership, sales, and marketing teams through training, workshops, and keynote presentations. She is also a board member, investor, and adviser to dozens of high-growth businesses.

12:00 - 13:00

Networking Lunch: Hosted Investor & Strategic Tables

13:00 - 13:55

Keynote Panel | Titans of Capital & the Future of Funding in Canada

Hear from these Canadian Capital & Innovation Heavyweights on what the funding landscape has in store for tech companies and the future of innovation, access to capital, entrepreneurship, and diversity.

Claudio Rojas


Kim Furlong


Lauren Robinson

Executive Director

Gerry Pond



Delegates Move to Breakout Session Rooms

13:55 - 14:30

Technology Showcase: Break Out Sessions

Top companies take the AVF 2019 stage to represent the Atlantic Canadian Technology Market across various sectors. Each company has five minutes to demonstrate their business opportunity, and provide compelling reasons why the Investors, corporate leaders, and innovation economy stewards should take a closer look!

Breakout A: Life Sciences & Health Tech Company Presentations – Nova Scotia Ballroom A

Breakout B: Ocean Tech Innovation Company Presentations – Halifax Ballroom A

14:30 - 15:15

Networking Break

15:15 - 16:00

Life Sciences & Health Technology Fireside Chat | Building Global Networks

Does your company have too much comfort within the local ecosystem? Have you built sufficient networks and exposure globally? Find out what the industry’s leading professionals know about building success in the Life Sciences and Health Technology arena and why emphasizing connections outside your current network is vital for the survival of your business.

Amine Benmoussa

Principal, Healthcare Fund

Meryeme Lahmami

Investment Manager

Michael Lincoln

Chief Financial & Business Officer

16:00 - 16:45

Fireside Chat | Corporate Innovation Leaders

Hungry for capital that comes with a corporate partner? Find out why these Corporate Leaders think the opportunity they can offer, as opposed to traditional investment, better suits your business. Each one has a strategic agenda for working with and engaging entrepreneurs. Listen in as these key players from outside of Atlantic Canada discuss the current opportunity landscape and what they are looking for from you.

Kim Furlong


Scott Mikalachki

Innovation Discovery Leader

Chris Robertson

Senior Associate

Lauren Robinson

General Partner

16:45 - 16:55

Best Presenting Company Awards Ceremony & Closing Remarks

Presented by: Jeff Mullen, ACOA

16:55 - 20:00

The Annual Taste of Nova Scotia Lobster Bash!

Lobster. Lots of it. Pair that up with scores of locally produced delicacies, craft beer, cocktails, and spirits coming from artisans across Nova Scotia. This is the Legendary Taste of Nova Scotia Lobster Bash and it is the Atlantic Canadian technology networking party of the summer.

Bottom line here is: good food + good people = good times!

Oh, and did we mention there’s Lobster?

AVF 2020 – Annotated Draft Program (200909)